ROYAL Wootton Bassett Town manager Sam Collier said he was ‘massively proud’ of his young team despite going down 3-2 away at Hellenic Premier leaders Westfields on Saturday.

Collier also stated he felt Bassett would have lost the game comfortably six weeks ago when the club was in a dire run of form.

However, the reinvigorated side – who had won four of their previous five – recovered from conceding inside the first minute to almost snatch a deserved point, according to their manager.

Collier said: “We definitely deserved a point from the game – we were all very, very disappointed that we came away empty handed.

“We went there with them having not dropped a point at home all season, and with the players and they money that they’ve got.

“And we went there with five under-18s and a few senior heads like we have done in the last few games.

“We were confident in ourselves, but we knew it was going to be extremely tough.

“Then they scored inside the first 30 seconds and you’re thinking: ‘oh no, here we go again’.

“But credit to the lads, we absolutely battered them for the next 25 minutes and eventually scored a very good goal from Mark Francis.”

Westfields would go on to restore their lead courtesy of another set-piece goal, but Collier maintained the message to his players at half-time very much centred around the possibility to take something from the game.

However, the league leaders scored again after the break following a spell of dominance from their visitors, and the Bassett boss admitted he had fears his team may crumble.

Yet, Bassett showed great character to respond and finished the game in the ascendancy, though no equaliser was forthcoming.

“We got back in it with 20 minutes to go, we just couldn’t find that equaliser despite throwing everything at them,” said Collier.

“I’m very disappointed with the result, but I’m massively proud with the way that my lads went about their business.

“Six weeks ago, we would have lost that comfortably, but now, we’ve pushed the best team in the league all the way.

“And it showed how much the win meant to them when they’re blaring out music and banging on walls because they’ve scraped by against us.”

Elsewhere, there were defeats for both Shrivenham and Fairford Town.

Jody Bevan’s Fairford were comfortably beaten 3-0 away at Longlevens – with the Town boss admitting on Twitter that it ‘could have been even more’.

Meanwhile, Gareth Davies’ Shrivenham narrowly missed out on a point when falling 2-1 away to Lydney Town.